Watch your wallets! These marketing tricks were designed to make you spend more without you realising it.
Have you ever purchased anything impulsively? The unfortunate truth is you’ve probably fallen prey to marketing tactics, carefully thought out to make you get items you don’t need. No need to feel bad about it–we have all been there.
By recognising a marketing tactic prodding you to spend, you can learn to avoid them and save in the process. Watch out for these tricks the next time you visit a mall, supermarket or e-commerce site.
1. Offering a “Cheaper” Price for 2 Items
This psychological pricing technique is often used by supermarkets. In fact, businesses like Big Box in Jurong use this as their primary marketing tactic. By having two items seemingly cheaper together–2 for S$14, 1 for S$8–you’re more likely to jump on this deal because you think you’re saving money.
Often enough, you would find that you don’t actually need the second or subsequent items unless you’re preparing for a war or throwing a party.
2. Creating a Sense of Urgency or Scarcity
When an extremely attractive promotion (like Jetstar’s Take a Friend for Free discount on plane tickets) goes live, you know it’s not going to be for long. Your brain goes into an overdrive and you have your cursor hovering over the checkout button. And you’d usually snap it up without much consideration because you simply can’t pass on the deal.
Whether you actually needed the purchase became a secondary priority because the sense of urgency brings out the kiasu (or fear of missing out) side in all of us.
3. Giving You Discounts (if You Spend a Certain Sum)
Does “S$20 off with S$70 minimum spend” sound familiar to you? If you’ve shopped on Zalora, you’d have used one of similar discount codes to cut down on your total spend. But have you ever stopped to think that you might have purchased more items just so you would be eligible to use the discount? E-commerce sites are especially great at this, offering you countless discounts that you can use only if you spend the minimum sum.
If you have enough items that you need to hit the minimum spend, go for the discount. If not, you’ll just end up overspending.
4. Sending Personalised Electronic Direct Mailers (eDMs)
If you feel like you’ve been lured into spending unnecessary money through eDMs, unsubscribe from them or block them altogether.
5. Creating an Ambience that Makes You Buy
Marketers take advantage of our senses to make us want to spend. By appealing to our sight, smell and hearing, they can cause an increase in sales and a decrease in cash in our pockets. Malls like ION Orchard and Scotts Square have smells at different times of the day to coax you into shopping or eating. Supermarkets like FairPrice and ShengSiong usually have white walls to appear welcoming.
While you can’t control the environment you’re in, try to remember how it affects you and watch your spending.
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By Jehanne Teo
Starting out as a lifestyle writer, Jehanne currently writes for SingSaver.com.sg about saving money in everyday situations.